Monday, February 18, 2008
The UAB Game, The Fans, The Slap, #1 vs #2 and More .................
Ok, I just couldn't stand it anymore. I have read articles locally and a few nationally, but have many more to still read tonight about the Tigers game at UAB.
I'm really somewhat annoyed at what I have heard on the radio and read from the media. I am fine with the opinion that the UAB fans were wrong to react the way they did and that the Tiger players were too reactive; however, I have a lot of problems with this talk that Joey Dorsey's intention was to enter the stands and crack some heads. I'm sorry, I guess I didn't realize that mind reading really is possible. Perhaps, the coaches, players and police officers holding Joey were just pushing him toward the locker room so nothing could happen. Perhaps, they all realize Joey is a hot head and they were looking to avoid a situation.
If the media want to pick on someone, choose Pierre Niles who can NOT under any circumstances lay a hand on a fan. If the fan hit him first then perhaps some reaction is warranted, but no matter what that jerk says about Pierre's mother, weight, girlfriend, weight, grandmother, weight, etc. Pierre can not touch him.
A really good case could be made for kicking Niles off the team.
Hey, UAB officials, have you ever considered hiring sufficient security? How many UAB fans were arrested for throwing items at the team? Yes, I know you can't kick the fans out of the game that is already over, but you can not permit them to attend another game this season. You can punish students in other ways.
Ok, enough on that.
So, my opinion of the game. I was scared to death. I really had a bad feeling about that game for several days prior. Memphis vs UAB is the biggest rivalry in C-USA for Memphis even though it is less of a rivalry than Tennessee, Ole Miss, Cincinnati or Louisville. I think it is safe to say this year's game just jacked up the rivalry up a notch.
UAB looked pretty good. I know they are only an RPI mid 70's, but they played much better than that on their home court. Indiana-transfer Robert Vaden is impressive and several of those shots were really hard to make - kind of like Chris Lofton going off against Memphis in Knoxville last year. I wasn't surprised that Kenard played so well. He is from Memphis, after all, and that is always a recipe for a great performance. You know, when the guy wants to show the Memphis coaches that they should have given him a scholarship.
At first I was thinking Memphis might get blown out. UAB was shooting 60%-65% from the field. It was obvious that UAB was packing in the zone and Memphis can certainly have those games where 3's just don't go down, but CDR, Anderson and Mack were on. Speaking of Antonio Anderson, where did that come from? It was the game we have all been waiting for since the Cincinnati game his freshman year.
The bigs all missed the bus to the the arena. I was surprised that both Dorsey and Dozier were no shows. Typically, at least one of the two will come to play offensively. The game did expose another part of Joey Dorsey's weaknesses (free throws being the obvious) - low post moves. Joey is great on lobs, great on the glass, great for junk baskets, but he has no game developing a shot.
CDR was an, excuse me, THE All-American. What a performance. Anderson's play probably won the game because everyone expects CDR to perform. Anderson was the surprise, but nine points down the strech from the two of them on three possessions was special.
That game will we remembered in Tiger history for years to come.
So, here we are, the Vols coming to the FedEx Forum for #1 versus #2. ESPN Game Day set up outside along Beale Street. Wow, I can't wait. Oh no, I can't go. I'm stuck attending a dinner my wife committed me to months ago. Yeah, I know what your thinking, but a divorce will be really costly, and with my luck, she'll end up with my Tiger season tickets in the settlement.
I'll be posting more on the Vols later this week. At the moment, I am trying to be a classy guy and not bust on the Vols, but if the Vol fans start with the Tiger High stuff, I'll be forced to break out the red neck, coon dog pictures.
But, aren't we getting ahead of ourselves? Tulane on Wednesday night. This will not be an easy game and Memphis could easily be looking forward to Saturday. Let's face it. Memphis really isn't playing all that great right now. They have had less than stellar performances over the past two weeks - remember UTEP. Houston in Memphis was no cake walk. I was there.
So, here is my predictions. Memphis wins at Tulane by 12 and Memphis wins by 6 over Tennessee.